• Explore and Discover One of the Last Frontiers in the World ...

    Jewel Cave

    National Monument South Dakota

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  • Caution - Parking Lot at Jewel Cave is under construction

    The parking lot project is on schedule for completion this fall. There is limited RV parking. The stairs and wheelchair ramp to the visitor center are also under construction. Signage along a service road will help guide visitors to the visitor center. More »

Natural Features & Ecosystems

Calcite rafts in Jewel Cave

Thin sheets of calcite formed on the surface of an ancient pool of water.  The pool is now gone, and only these delicate "calcite rafts" remain.

NPS Photo

The primary resource of Jewel Cave National Monument is the cave itself. Jewel Cave is a unique world of sparkling calcite crystals, delicate strands of gypsum, and other spectacular cave formations. It contains large rooms strewn with boulders, tight crawlways, and dark fissures leading into the unknown.

Did You Know?

Beautiful gypsum flowers in Jewel Cave/NPS file photo

When Jewel Cave was established as a National Monument in 1908, it was thought to be a small but pretty cave. It wasn’t until 1959 that explorers began to realize that Jewel Cave may be one of the longest caves in the world.